Archive for California

Alex Turns Four

Alex Turns Four

Our eldest great grandchild, Alex, had his fourth birthday today. We sent him a birthday package via USPS and our granddaughter took these pictures of him opening his gifts. They live in Northern California.

He is at an age where he understands the concepts of birthday and who sent him presents. His mother says he really liked our presents.

The gifts were a Fire Tablet and Headphones. The interactive nature of the tablet should help him learn things as well as him playing games on it.

We have three great grandchildren now. Alex, his little brother, Mikey, and Maci, our great granddaughter whose mother is the second eldest of out three grandchildren. Maci will be two in April and Mikey celebrates his first birthday in November.

Our grandson, Jerry, just turned three in August. Jerry also got a Fire Tablet and Headphones. We were able to give Jerry his gifts in person, since his parents visited us here in Arizona in August.

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We’re Underway Again

Carson City

After our now completed four week mission with family in K-stan, we are finally back on the move and are camping in Carson City, NV for a couple of nights. As I mentioned before, the return trip will be at a bit of a more leisurely pace and staying for more than one night at each stop.

Our route today was a scenic one, driving over the Sierra Nevada Range from Stockton to Carson City. We started with a short trip up CA 99 to pick up CA 88 going northeastward. The scenery rapidly changed from suburban to agricultural to rolling foothills and then the mountains.

Kit Carson Pass crests at an elevation of 8574 feet MSL. Even though it is well into the spring season, there was plenty of snow on the mountains and a couple of the alpine lakes were still mostly frozen. The Carson River flowing down the east side of the pass was moving rapidly with plenty of white water from the spring thaw.

We’re going to do some souvenir shopping at the Casino across the road tomorrow and maybe bring a take-out dinner back to the RV afterwards. We are going to meander southward on the next lags of the trip and will likely be back home in a week.

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RV Dump and Updated Status

rv-dump.jpgI may have mentioned before that we have only partial hookups here in Stockton at Damsel’s sister’s place. We have water and electricity, but no sewer hookup. I also may have mentioned that we are house guests during the days, but sleep in the RV and, of course, use the on-board bathroom at night. That necessitates a trip (or two) to an RV dump facility during our extended stay here.

Today, we broke down the camp and went down the highway to a truck stop with a dump station. We paid the fee and flushed out the black and gray tanks for the second time since we have been camped here. The place where we dumped last week was unavailable due to maintenance today, so we found another facility nearby where we took care of the dump and flush.

We have been camped here just short of three weeks and will probably be moving along the rest of our “vacation from retirement” route next week. As for the family status, the sister is healing well, still a bit sore and can perform most normal activities. Her husband is still recovering from another ailment and is receiving outside therapist and nursing help in the home. We like to think we helped them through this tough time.

Last weekend, we traveled to wine country where the grandchildren and great-grandchildren live. We had a nice visit at a restaurant local to them and got to see the little ones as well as all three of the granddaughters. Other family and friends joined us for the hour or so eat and visit.

A preview of next week might find us crossing the Sierra Nevada Range into Nevada and thence southeastward towards home with a couple of nights at each stop along the way. More on that as it unfolds.

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Interim Destination Stockton

Rain and Traffic

The forecast for weather on the next leg of our journey was quite accurate; there were gusty winds in the desert from Barstow up into the mountain pass near Tehachapi. Also, as expected, there was rain along our route starting at about Modesto and continuing until we finally got to our destination. In spite of the weather, we made good time and were only slowed by traffic for the last few miles in moderate rain. Our arrival was near rush hour on a Friday, so the traffic was expected.

The family members are doing well. We are here for an open ended visit while one of the family recovers from her surgery on Wednesday. We may post more from here if time and events permit.

Click on the image to enlarge. The black diagonal item at the left is a windshield wiper which activated when Damsel took the photo.

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Desolation

CA Hwy 62

This is a view of the scenery we saw yesterday along CA Hwy 62 in San Bernadino County as we crossed the great desolate Mojave Desert on the last leg of our trip. Damsel took this photo after our departure from Twentynine Palms. We were just north of Joshua Tree National Park, which, in itself, is a very large chunk of real estate.

Other than a few lightly populated areas and the larger town of Parker, AZ, the trip yesterday had us looking at bare desert. The difference between the California deserts and Arizona deserts would be that there are saguaro cacti east of the Colorado River and not so much west of there.

Still, both deserts are amazing examples of geological variety and wonder, with scrub brush and jagged mountains. We enjoyed the crossing very much on a clear, calm and beautiful day.

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High Desert Camping

Twentynine Palms Resort

After the second leg (of three) on our return home, we find ourselves in Twentynine Palms in the Mojave, CA high desert. Today was an interesting drive which, in part, took us both to areas of the high desert where we had yet to see, to wit: Lucerne and Johnson Valleys. It is quite the scenic drive with desolate areas, giant rock formations and the usual desert flora and fauna.

The campground here is at elevation 1730 MSL according to the GPS. We are experiencing warmer weather than that we had in Northern California, where fall has definitely become quite brisk. Here, the temperatures are forecast for between lows of high fifties and highs of low eighties. We expect much of the same when we arrive home tomorrow.

Our drive tomorrow will be through the rest of the California Outback, across the Colorado river at Earp, CA/Parker, AZ and continuing through the Arizona Outback the rest of the way home. Weather and traffic are not expected to be factors during the last leg home.

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On The Move Again

Orange Grove RV Park

Tonight we’re camped in Bakersfield, California at the Orange Grove RV Park. The park is, literally, in an orange grove with spaces for RVs to park. Now that December is imminent, the warm weather parks fill up pretty fast. We were fortunate to get a space here and the park looks to be nearly full.

We had a great time over the last two weeks, camping and meeting with family. It’s a bittersweet thing to be heading home, but we’re already planning our next excursion to be with family again.

We’re going to be in the California High Desert tomorrow, stopping in Twentynine Palms overnight and then home on Saturday. In spite of having a lot of fun on the road and with family, we are looking forward to being home again and back into our retirement routine.

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